Brickbat: If You Can't Say Anything Nice


City of South Pittsburg

Think there's a problem in South Pittsburg, Tennessee? Keep it to yourself. The City Commission has banned all elected city officials, employees, vendors and contractors, volunteers and anyone else with any connection to the city government from posting anything negative about the city, its employees or associates online. Commission members say they are tired of people asking them about things they read about the city on the Internet.


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  1. I guess they forgot about the old piece of paper written by dead white guys,huh

    1. I don’t see where First Amendment has anything to do with this. No criminalization, just threat to employment (which is NOT a right).

      1. If this were regulating behaviour while on the job (ie what they can say to the general public in their official capacity) then there would be no issue. The problem arises entirely from the fact that it’s after hours communication being targetted. Grousing is the number one passtime of public employees because Catch-22 was a toned down reflection of their day jobs. If the council wants to stop the complaints, perhaps they should look at what is causing them, because pretty soon these will have a nagative impact on the electorate, and they will be out of a job themselves.

      2. Just because you work for the government does not mean you give up the right to speak against it. It is nothing like the private sector.

        1. If I started posting stuff about rounding up and deporting niggers, spics, chinks, and kikes, I’d get fired from my at-will private sector job. Guaranteed. 1A has zero to do with it.

          There is no criminal liability for any of these people saying anything they want- but they might lose their jobs, just like those of us in the private sector. I understand that I can even get fired for smoking dope when I’m not at work. Ray Rice lost his for punching his wife.

          You may or may not think this is a good idea, but there’s nothing unconstitutional here. You do NOT have a right to employment.

          1. If this was a private sector job then you would be right. (Except we really don’t have freedom of association anymore) These are government employees and the government can’t punish you for speaking out against it.

            1. I believe there are court cases that supports this view too.I’d have to check

              1. I would like to see a cite. The only protections of this sort I’m aware of are for whistleblowing, and even that is a very restrictive figleaf.

          2. You went straight to the most extreme possibilities, but it sounds like they are trying to limit a much wider range of speech.
            Also, note that they want to apply their gag to volunteers.
            I wonder what the contracts of the various types of people covered have to say?

            1. I don’t know about the city employees, but mine requires work-related cause for termination. So I can say horrible things about my employer so long as I get my work done. (Otherwise I’d have been fired for voicing my dislike of the government years ago)

              1. There are exceptions like appointed positions,police cabinet secretary ect.Civil servants have lots of protection.

                1. police chief

              2. That’s contractual. If your contract does not specifically protect you from at-will termination. you can be tossed… at will.

          3. You do NOT have a right to employment.

            You sure ’bout that?
            /Public Sector Union Head

            1. Yes, we’re in agreement that employment is not a right. The question being the appropriate threshold for disassociation without tort (that is, at what point are you liable to lose the wrongful termination suit)

      3. I can see two perspectives on this.

        On the one hand, the government is not like any other employer. It has the power to confiscate property and detain people. The people who may be subject to such aggression should have the right to know what is being done in their name (and possibly against their interests).

        On the other hand, if the same people really care about how this instrument of violence is operating, then they should be clamoring for the removal of these officials. Good governance requires constant vigilance and a willingness to act. The least that can be done is to cast a vote.

        The tipping point between these two perspectives is how important you view minority interests against the majority position. In other words, the classical philosophical battle between republicanism and democracy.

  2. I guess it’s easier to pretend that everything is great than to fix any of those problems.

  3. City Attorney Billy Gouger said the new policy is not intended to infringe on anyone’s right to free speech.

    “What this policy tries to do is reconcile that right with other rights,” he said. “It does, to some extent, limit your ability to criticize or comment in an official capacity.”

    I wonder what those “other rights” might be.

    1. The govt’s right to propaganda

  4. Life would be so much better if we had no negative thoughts or words. Banning them is a big step on the way toward perpetual happiness.

  5. Wow man this makes a lot of sense dude. WOw.

      1. If that’s a government bot-slaver you’ve got some apologizing to do.

  6. The policy says those persons can’t post anything negative about the city, its employees or other associates.

    “I am positive the city administrators of South Pittsburg possibly fuck sheep.”

    1. *Booking trip to South Pittsburg*

      1. don’t forget you calf high boots

  7. The policy covers elected officials, so if a city council member decides to run for mayor and posts an attack ad criticizing the sitting mayor on YouTube, she would be in violation of the policy. This is a clear 1A violation.

  8. my friend’s half-sister makes $83 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $14066 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to this site…………

  9. my roomate’s mother makes $71 /hr on the internet . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her payment was $12827 just working on the internet for a few hours. this link…..

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